Bret M. Webb, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE
University of South Alabama
150 Jaguar Drive, SH3142
Mobile, AL 36688 USA
Phone: (251) 460-6174
Fax: (251) 461-1400

Research Positions

Currently seeking multiple graduate students to fill positions at the MS, PhD, and Postdoc levels. Research topics include: living shorelines, beach and tidal inlet dynamics, barrier island response to extreme events, groundwater impacts to coastal lagoons, and infrastructure resilience. Research assistantships are available. Click here for more information.

Current Research Assistants

PhD Students
Garland Pennison


MS Students
Kelsey Carpenter
Sean McQuagge
Elizabeth Winter
Jackie Wittmann


Undergraduate Students
Ian Cox

Former Students

MSCE Students
Patrick Hautau (2018)
Marshall Hayden (2018)
Kate Haynes (2018)
Justin Lowlavar (2017)
Bryan Groza (2016)
Kari Servold (2015)
Chris Marr (2013)
Richard Allen (2013)
Miyuki Matthews (2012)


Post Docs
Jon Risinger
Jungwoo Lee

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Last week I was honored to receive my Board Certification as a Diplomate of Coastal Engineering (D.CE) from the Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port and Navigation Engineers (ACOPNE). This certification demonstrates that I have specific technical expertise in civil engineering acquired through advanced education and training, as well as professional practice experience. In lieu of a specific licensing process that distinguishes specialized practitioners from general ones, this relatively new certification program (2009) plays an important role in elevating the competence of the civil engineering profession.


ACOPNE is one of three academies of the American Society of Civil Engineers participating in the Civil Engineering Certification process.  Board Certification through ACOPNE was established in 2009 to recognize those engineers possessing advanced knowledge, skill, and training in the fields of coastal, ocean, port and navigation engineering. The distinction of Board Certification and the credentials (diplomate status) that it provides represent one of the highest designations available to identify those civil engineers with exceptional skill and reputation.


Board Certification through ACOPNE requires that individuals be actively engaged in the practice of their specialized area of engineering, have obtained a baccalaureate degree in engineering, a master’s degree (or over 25 years of experience) in their area of specialization, and a professional engineering license. Click {here} to learn more about the ASCE Civil Engineering Certification academies and their requirements.



2012_stats_post-imageSo not quite a full year in review seeing as how this is being prepared on Christmas Eve… but at only seven days shy of a full year let’s just say it’s close enough. Plus, I’m going to be busy migrating this site to its new home next week so I won’t have time to prepare my yearly summary prior to the New Year. In the event that you are not automatically directed to it, the new site address will be:


This has been a great year… full of firsts, moves, awards, research projects, publications, presentations, and graduations. Here is a brief list of what our research team has experienced this year:

  • Moved to new 155,000 sq.ft. engineering and computer science building (Shelby Hall)
  • First MSCE thesis student graduated in August 2012
  • Two papers accepted to peer-reviewed journals
  • Two peer-reviewed conference proceeding papers
  • One publication in a trade journal
  • Eighteen conference and/or professional meeting presentations
  • One mentoring award
  • Three student awards
  • Two multi-year research projects with awards of +$350,000
  • One $15k research project completed for The Nature Conservancy
  • Three graduate classes, two undergraduate labs, one undergraduate class, one graduate directed study course, and lots of hours of thesis supervision


With regards to web site traffic we had a blockbuster year. In a post from early this year describing the 2011 site traffic stats, I set a goal of 1000 unique visits for the 2012 calendar year. We exceeded our goal and then some. From January 1 – December 24 of 2012 we have seen 2770 page loads, 1771 unique visits, 1514 first time visitors, and 257 returning visitors. Those numbers are almost double what the site saw in 2011. That means more people are learning about our research and the University of South Alabama… those are both very positive outcomes. Click on the image above for an expanded view of the total number of page loads by day for the 2012 year.


Thanks, everyone, for your interest and support. Please come back to visit us in the new year… at our new domain: Things will be cleaned up and reorganized a bit. You may have already noticed our new header design. Thanks to Nate Christopher, Graphic Designer at Fondriest Environmental for the excellent line sketch of the South Alabama Jag Ski. It will be featured quite a bit in the new year.



Our submissions to the 2011 ASCE COPRI Conference on Coastal Engineering Practice are now available as full length proceedings papers. Click on one of the citations below to download a PDF.



Given the voluminous amount of material being generated in concert with the leaking MS 252 well, I have decided to add a {Gulf Oil Spill} page to my site.  The {oil spill trajectory and forecast maps} will be moved to a sub-page, and you will also find links to {data and databases} as they become available.  Check back often.

The BP ROV live feed has been embedded in the right column of this page courtesy of  the {WKRG News 5} web site. Hovering over the video will give you some additional viewing options.  If you are looking for the official BP feed page, you can find that by clicking {here}.  I will keep the embedded video in the right-hand column as long as it remains active and entertaining.